Samsung Epic 4G Announced: Galaxy S with a Physical Keyboard

June 27, 2010
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You remember the Samsung Galaxy S Pro that we showcased here a few weeks ago, right? Thanks to our tipster, we got early photos of what would later become known as the Samsung Epic 4G -- and that's exactly what we've got here, courtesy of an official announcement from Sprint and Samsung. It's the first 4G-enabled device on the market that features a full, landscape-sliding QWERTY keyboard, and it's also got a few more features that'll make you take a second glance.

Obviously, first and foremost, you're getting your hands on Sprint's 4G network. With the ability to switch from 3G to 4G whenever available, you'll be using those high speeds at all times. You're also getting the Samsung Galaxy S' 4-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, with Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz 3.0 User Interface tacked on for good measure. On the back of the device, you'll have access to a 5MP camera with autofocus, and the ability to record video in 720p. On the front? There's a VGA front-facing camera, making sure that you'll be able to make all of those video calls you want.

On the inside, you're going to find Samsung's 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird applications processor, and Android 2.1. You'll be able to broadcast your device's 3G or 4G signal thanks to the ability to make your handset a mobile hotspot, which will allow you to connect up to 5 WiFi-enabled devices at the same time.

Something that we want to mention, thanks to the note that Samsung and Sprint added in the press release: The Epic 4G is launching with Android 2.1, but Sprint and Samsung have every intent of upgrading it to Android 2.2 "in the near future." That will give you access to Apps2SD, an updated User Interface, and all of the other great features that Froyo brings to Android.

You'll be able to wirelessly share all your videos, pictures, and music thanks to Samsung's AllShare, which uses DLNA to make it all that much easier. And thanks to Samsung's Media Hub, you'll be able to download movies and TV shows right on the fly, all optimized to give you the best viewing possible on a mobile handset.

The last bits we'll mention, before you get into the press release below: 1GB of ROM and 512MB of RAM. There's a 16GB microSD card thrown into the box, but you can have a 32GB card thrown in if that's what you enjoy. It has built-in WiFi b/g/n, along with Bluetooth and GPS. There's a 1500mAh battery, so that should be good enough for a good day's usage.

As for a release date? No idea. Pricing? Nothing yet. Samsung and Sprint are all set to launch the news some time in the next few months, so stay tuned as we wait for more details.

Press Release:

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – June 28, 2010 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.1, today introduced the second 4G-capable handset from Sprint, Samsung Epic™ 4G, a Galaxy S™ smartphone and Samsung Mobile’s first 4G Android™-powered device.

“Sprint takes another leap forward today, announcing its second 4G-capable smartphone,” said Steve Elfman, president, Network Operations and Wholesale. “Samsung Epic 4G joins a portfolio of powerful devices offering an unprecedented simplicity and value to our customers as the only national carrier with a 4G network and devices and applications that can leverage the increased data speeds to provide a high-def entertainment and business experience in the palm of your hand.”

“Samsung Epic 4G is a powerful member of our Galaxy S smartphone portfolio which offers premium screen, speed and content features,” said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. “The Epic 4G ups the ante with a front-facing camera for video conferencing, a full QWERTY keyboard and lightning-fast 4G speeds.”

Samsung Epic 4G is part of a new breed of Samsung smartphones offering their very best in screen, speed and content quality for a premium user experience, and offers a fully integrated multimedia, messaging and social networking experience. It also features an exceptionally thin smartphone design with a slide out, full QWERTY keyboard and 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display.

The brilliant Super AMOLED touchscreen display offers:
• The best representation of color on a mobile phone that matches original content, more than 100 times the contrast quality of other leading displays
• Faster response time that reduces “ghosting” images
• Wide viewing angles to prevent blurring or distortion
• Thinner design to offer more accurate and responsiveness to touch

Entertainment at Its Best
In the coming months, Samsung Epic 4G will have access to the Samsung Media Hub, making it the first and only 4G handset to feature a video store with movies and TV available for purchase or rental, and video content set up for an HD-like entertainment experience on a handset screen. With 4G from Sprint, users will be able to get turbo-charged downloads of a full library of video and literary content powered by some of the biggest names in entertainment.

Samsung Epic 4G also features Samsung’s exclusive AllShare service to wirelessly share stored music, pictures and HD video to other DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified™ home electronics, including HDTVs, monitors, digital cameras, printers and more. Through AllShare, users will be able to capture moments with the phone’s camera and camcorder, and wirelessly show them to friends or family on their DLNA certified HDTV or download music from a PC to Samsung Epic 4G and take on the road.

Amazing Features
Powered by the Android 2.1 platform, Samsung Epic 4G also supports a series of advanced touch screen gestures including multi-touch pinch, long tap and zoom and vertical and horizontal swiping.

Samsung Epic 4G is the only 4G smartphone to offer three fast and easy ways to enter text onto the device – a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, virtual keyboard and Swype technology, which allows users to input text faster and more intuitively with one continuous finger motion across the virtual keyboard.

The smartphone is designed for an optimal gaming experience with a six-axis sensor that fine tunes its accelerometer’s ability to interpret simple movements of the device, so when the phone tilts up and down or left and right, the game can immediately respond in the same directions. A demo of Asphalt 5, a popular racing game, is preloaded exclusively on Samsung Epic 4G allowing users to take full advantage of these advanced gaming capabilities.

It also features:
• Samsung 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Application Processor supports amazing 3-D graphics, faster upload and download times and the full richness of HD-like multimedia content.
• Dual camera: 5 MP camera/camcorder with autofocus, Power LED flash and 3x digital zoom for HD video3 (720p) video recording and front facing VGA camera for video chat and more
• Visual Voicemail
• Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 4G experience simultaneously
• Android Market™ for access to more than 50,000 useful applications, widgets and games available for download to customize the experience
• Wi-Fi® b/g/n
• 1500 mAh battery

Game-changer for Business Customers
Samsung Epic 4G is designed to deliver one of the best multi-media experience for business users in several vertical industries such as healthcare, education, public safety, construction and professional services through superior speed and display innovation. It offers support for push email and integrated calendar services, including Google™ and Yahoo, as well as Exchange ActiveSync for corporate email including enhanced device management and security features, as well as full support for Google Mobile Services.

With Android’s open-software platform, businesses can benefit from several productivity-enhancing applications available in the Android Market™ including bar code scanning, signature capture, document viewing and the ability to stream and upload video for customer approval and archival purposes.

Staying Connected with Social Networking
To make staying connected faster and easier, Samsung Epic 4G includes Samsung Social Hub designed to integrate all your social networking services, messages, personal and business email, calendars and contacts. Additionally, calendar information from portal calendars, such as Google Calendar and social networking services are displayed together in one calendar with two-way synchronization.

As work on finalizing the software is underway, Sprint expects to launch Android 2.2 for Samsung Epic 4G in the near future. With the Android 2.2 upgrade, customers can expect improvements to include the following benefits among others: updates to User Interface, improved EAS Support, improved Browser Performance including Flash 10x Support, voice Dialing Over Bluetooth and application Storage on External Memory.

A Sprint 4G developer guide is available today from the Sprint ADP Web site at http://developer.sprint.com. The Sprint 4G developer guide provides details on developing for an Android 2.1 handset and how to take advantage of the Samsung Epic 4G’s unique hardware and software capabilities and the Sprint 4G network. The Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

Sprint will announce pricing and availability in the coming months; meanwhile customers can pre-register for more information about Samsung Epic 4G at www.sprint.com/epic4g.

Blazing trails with Sprint 4G
Sprint 4G offers a faster wireless experience than any other U.S. national wireless carrier, and Sprint is the only national carrier offering wireless 4G service today in 36 markets. Sprint 4G delivers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G, giving Samsung Epic 4G the fastest data speeds of any U.S. wireless device available today.2

As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008.

Sprint currently offers 4G service in 36 markets: Georgia – Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii – Honolulu, Maui; Idaho – Boise; Illinois – Chicago; Maryland – Baltimore; Missouri – Kansas City, St. Louis; Nevada – Las Vegas; North Carolina – Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon – Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, York; Texas – Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Utah – Salt Lake City; Virginia – Richmond; Washington – Bellingham, Seattle. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

In 2010, Sprint expects to launch 4G service in multiple markets, including but not limited to, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

More Satisfied Than Ever
Powerful 4G smartphones like Samsung Epic 4G is one of many reasons Sprint is the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last two years, according to results from the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Sprint’s improvement was driven in part by substantial gains in two aspects of the survey. In the area of customers’ perceptions of value, Sprint now leads both AT&T and Verizon. The company also achieved an impressive improvement in the area of customer loyalty. With these gains, the company’s overall ACSI score jumped 14 points over the last two years. In the last six years of the ACSI survey, no other company has improved its satisfaction score by that many points in a two-year period.

The improvements in the ACSI survey come as Sprint has seen nine consecutive quarters of improved customer satisfaction and first call resolution. The company’s improvements have also been recognized by other independent third-parties, including Sprint winning the #1 spot for both overall satisfaction for wireless voice service providers and wireless data service providers in a Yankee Group and Mobile Enterprise magazine survey of large business decision makers. Sprint also ranked high in small and medium business customer satisfaction. Also noteworthy was Sprint’s two-year Reputation Pulse™ score increase in Reputation Institute’s 2010 U.S. Most Reputable Companies Study (published annually in Forbes). Sprint’s 18.22 percent gain puts its improvement in the top 10 percent of the 150 largest U.S. companies, ahead of both AT&T and Verizon.

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and is the first and only wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About Samsung Telecommunications America
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2009 consolidated sales of (US)$116.8 billion. Employing approximately 188,000 people in 185 offices across 65 countries, the company consists of eight independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Semiconductor and LCD. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.


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